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Tonight's Game: Charlotte Bobcats at Orlando Magic

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2009/2010 NBA Season
Charlotte Bobcats main logo
@
Orlando Magic main logo
3-6 7-3
November 16th, 2009
Amway Arena
7:00 PM
FSN Florida
Probable starters:
Raymond Felton PG Jameer Nelson
Stephen Jackson SG Vince Carter
Gerald Wallace SF Mickael Pietrus
Boris Diaw PF Rashard Lewis
Tyson Chandler C Dwight Howard
Previous Meetings:
November 10th: Magic 93, Bobcats 81
Game Officials
Ron Garretson
Phil Robinson
Michael Smith

UPDATE: per Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Stephen Jackson is expected to start for Charlotte tonight.

The Orlando Magic will welcome the indispensable Rashard Lewis back to their lineup tonight when they host the Charlotte Bobcats. You know, in case you hadn't heard.

I have little to say about Charlotte that I didn't mention when these teams met last week, but I would like to better contextualize its horrendous offense: the Bobcats' efficiency rating of 92.5 would tie them with three other teams for the fourth-worst rating in history, so we're dealing with potentially record-setting putridity. It's easy to see why, given that the Bobcats shoot a lower effective field goal percentage, and turn the ball over at a higher rate, than any other team in the league this season. That is... that's something else.

They attempted to address their need for scoring today when they traded Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic to Golden State for Stephen Jackson and Acie Law IV. My take is that it makes no sense for them on the court or in the ledger. Jackson's posted an offensive rating of 97 and a True Shooting percentage of 49.9% so far this season, both well below-average. He might become more efficient if he took a lesser role, but that's just the thing: if anything, he'll have to handle more offensive responsibilities in Charlotte than he did as a Warrior, because he's the only non-point guard they have who can create his own shot; I put little faith in Gerald Wallace's ability to do the same. What it boils down to is that the league's worst offensive team dealt for one of its least efficient offensive players; of players with usage rates greater than or equal to Jackson's this season, only Bobby Brown and Jonny Flynn have worse offensive ratings. Oh, and Jackson has three years and $27.7 million remaining on his deal. Probably calamitous.

Ric Bucher of ESPN reports that Jackson is en route to Orlando and hopes to play; Bobcats coach Larry Brown told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that Jackson could start tonight.

With Lewis and Ryan Anderson, who's also expected back tonight, draining threes, the Magic's offense should kick back into high gear after some mediocre performances. Which is all just a roundabout way of saying the Bobcats don't have the firepower--unless Jackson's in vintage "eff-you" mode--to keep up with the Magic if they crack open a big lead. Then again, that didn't prevent Raymond Felton (of all people) from leading Charlotte's comeback bid against Orlando last week, so nothing's a given here. Except for that Lewis will receive a huge ovation. You can write that one down.

Game tips at 7. It's as must-see as a mid-November game against a lottery team gets, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.